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[personal profile] mellowtigger
What if there was a Pride parade, and nobody was proud?

I remember there was a time when I was actually glad to participate in Pride celebrations. I could see that people were engaging tough situations to make changes that would improve life for future folk (queer or not) everywhere. Back in those days, I was personally affected by job discrimination, for instance. (My work hours were cut from 40 to 15 as soon as the scheduler discovered that I was gay.) But now... I can't remember the last time I felt glad to be a part of the gay community. If there's so little left to improve, is it time finally to just stop having the pride celebrations?

As permanent minorities (regardless of racial group, it seems safe to assume that GLBT folk will always represent about 10% of the larger population) we are in a favorable position to observe the mainstream and actually see where it functions well and where it doesn't. We're less likely to succumb to cultural blinders that keep us from seeing things as they really are. We're not immune to that unfortunate side-effect of the human brain's daily machinations, but I do think we're afforded a special resistance because of our permanent fringe status.

Why aren't we using it to better society? The last big lesson that I can remember us teaching mainstream society was in the 1980s when culture learned from us (via our HIV/AIDS experience) that cancer was not a dirty word, that diagnosis was just a call to stand up and fight, and that medicine was the patient's responsibility and not something to simply be handed over to a guy in a white dress. Society learned from us that the individual ought to confront the "experts" and demand explanation without patronization.

Today, instead of brilliant observation, we have biting sarcasm. At Bear Coffee a few weeks ago, I was hugely disappointed when it seemed the whole afternoon was spent insulting people. Not just in-group people who were there to counterattack. (Feeding the downward spiral, perhaps.) But people not part of our crowd who just made the awful mistake to walk past our group. I felt sad for them and annoyed by us. I get closer each year to boycotting all Bear events. I gave up on general GLBT culture a while back, I think, but I'd hoped that the Bear community (because of its own history) would be different.

What do we have to be proud of in this most recent generation? I honestly can't think of anything.

semi-related: Harvey, as usual, has a good point.

Date: 2008-06-15 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I've been pretty unimpressed with the crowd at coffee since I resumed attending it. Some of them are okay, but the 'sit around and make snide comments about people's outfits' we get out of one person in particular is by far the most tiresome behavior.


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